IAP 2002 Activities by Category

Physical Sciences

2002 EAPS Lecture Series: Chemical Evolution of the Ocean and Atmosphere from Creation to Pollution
Reg Newell
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

A series of noontime lectures on various topics designed to define the different connections and components that allow us to think about the earth as a system of connected processes. The lectures in the series with deal with the solid earth and its fluid envelopes, the ocean and atmosphere. A principle focus will be the variation in their chemistries with time. Please see the on-line listing for specific topics and dates.
Contact: Vicki McKenna, 54-910, x3-3380,
Sponsor: Earth, Atmos & Planetary Sci

Exploring Earth's Deep Interior with Seismic Wave
Robert van der Hilst
Plate tectonics and many natural hazards are the surface manifestations of a large scale geodynamic process in Earth's interior known as mantle convection. Mantle convection is the primary means for Earth to lose its heat and the nature and scale of flow are closely related to the evolution of our planet over geological time. I will show how seismic tomography can be used as a gigantic CAT scan to delineate the trajectories of mantle flow in Earth's mantle and discuss the implications for the viability of competing models of mantle convection.
Mon Jan 7, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

Laboratory Demonstration: Atmospheric Chemical Processes
Mario and Luisa Molina
Laboratroy demonstrations and discussion of common phenomena in atmospheric chemistry and physics.
Thu Jan 10, 12-02:00pm, 54-1811, Change in time and location

The Great Oxygen Event (~2.3 byr) of the Atmosphere
Heinrich Holland Harvard University faculty
Fri Jan 11, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

Nutrient Cycles and Biological Productivity in the Oceans
Michael Follows
Wed Jan 16, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

A Neoprotoerozoic Snowball Earth
Dan Schrag Harvard Unviersity faculty
Carbon isotope anomalies in carbonate rocks bracketing Neoproterozoic glacial deposits in Namibi suggest that biological productivity in the surface ocean collapsed for millions of years. This collapse can be explained by a global glaciation (that is, a snowball Earth), which ended abruptly when surface volcanic emissions raised atmospheric carbon dioxide to about 350 times the modern level. The rapid termination of the glacial conditions would have resulted in a warming of the snowball Earth to extreme greenhouse conditions. The resulting transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the ocean would result in the rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate in warm surface waters, producing the observed world-wide distribution of carbonate rocks.
Fri Jan 18, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

Evolution of Atmospheric Oxygen over the Phanerozoic
Rober Berner Yale University
Fri Jan 25, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

Pollution of the Present Day Atmosphere: Man-made and Natural Sources of Smog-causing, Ozone-depleting, and Greenhouse Gases
Nicola Blake University of New Hampshire
Mon Jan 28, 12-01:15pm, 54-915

Oxygen, Carbon, and Life through Geologic Time
Dan Rothman
A Harvard, MIT, WHOI Forum with: John Hayes, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institiution Andrew Knoll, Harvard University Dan Rothman, MIT Roger Summons, MIT
Fri Feb 1, 11am-12:45pm, 54-915, Note change in time.

Anigrafs: Experiments in Collective Consciousness
Whitman Richards
Wed Jan 9, Thu Jan 10, Fri Jan 11, 01:30-03:00pm, NE20-461

Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 40 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

A decision-making system is modelled as a group of of semi-autonomous agents. Consensus is reached by each agent voting according to their ranked preferences. Relationships between preferences are constrained by a shared model, which takes the form of a graph. What kinds of behaviors will such systems exhibit?
Contact: Whitman Richards, NE20-444G, x3-5776,
Sponsor: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

LabII -- A Virtual Femtosecond Laser Lab
Thomas Feurer
Tue Jan 8, Thu Jan 10, Tue Jan 15, Thu Jan 17, 10-11:30am, 2-132

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

One day of simulations may save a whole week of lab work. Day 1: Mathematical treatment of short laser pulses and linear propagation through different optical elements. Day 2: Nonlinear propagation effects and frequency conversion processes. Day 3: A short introduction to LabView and the concept of the virtual femtosecond laser lab. Day 4: 1001 simulations of easy and complex experiments.
Contact: Thomas Feurer, 6-026, x3-1956,
Sponsor: Chemistry

Mars Translife and Other Activity Sessions
Paul Wooster, Erika Brown
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Each week will be a presentation or workshop on a Specific Mars event or activity. The Translife project -- a project designing a space craft to test the effect of Martian gravity on mice -- will be presenting their work so far and discussing further ideas and concepts for the project. Other events/projects will be presented and discussed the next weeks.
Contact: Joshua Neubert, 617.494.0330,
Sponsor: MIT Mars Society

Paul Wooster, Erika Brown
Wed Jan 9, 07-08:00pm, 33-116

Paul Wooster, Erika Brown
Wed Jan 16, 07-08:00pm, 33-116

Mars Analog Settlement Design
Bruce Mackenzie
Help design a permanent settlement for Mars, and an inexpensive prototype of it which could be built on earth. There must be pressurized buildings, greenhouses, and vehicles. Local resources should be used for food and construction where ever possible. The lower the cost, the sooner humanity can take the first step expanding civilization into space, and avoid being dependent on the resources of our single Earth.
Wed Jan 23, 07-08:00pm, 33-116

Paul Wooster, Erika Brown
Wed Jan 30, 07-08:00pm, 33-116

Optical Spectroscopy of Counter-Terrorism
Michael S. Feld
Mon Jan 28, 10am-12:00pm, 34-401

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

With the developments of the Sept 11th, the need for technologies that counter terrorism is vital for national security. This series of talks will illustrate how optical spectroscopy can be used in counter-terrorism measures.
Lectures, at a semi-popular level, will be given by Timothy Swager, "Amplifying Polymers and Detection of Explosives and Chemical Warfare Agents," Darrly Greenwood "The Red, White and Blue of Biological Agent Detection," and Jeffrey Steinfeld "Optical Techniques for Trace Vapor Detection."
Refreshments will be served.
Contact: Michael S. Feld, 6-014, x3-9974,
Sponsor: Spectroscopy Lab

Physics Lectures for the General MIT Community
Professor Edward Farhi
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

A series of physics lectures, scheduled dates and times appear below. Titles to be announced; please continue to refer to this page for lecture updates.
Contact: Professor Edward Farhi, 6-309, 253-4871, farhi@MIT.EDU
Sponsor: Physics

Sound and Light from the Big Bang
Edmund Bertschinger
Mon Jan 7, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Quantifying Decoherence with an Atom Interferometer
David Pritchard
Mon Jan 14, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

The Bursting, Unconventional Universe
Bruno Coppi
Wed Jan 16, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Planetary Systems in Plenty: Methods and Estimates
Phillip Morrison
Thu Jan 17, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Inflationary Cosmology and the Accelerating Universe
Alan Guth
Wed Jan 23, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Are We Really Made of Quarks?
Jerome Friedman
Fri Jan 25, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Probing the First Structures in the Universe
Jackie Hewitt
Mon Jan 28, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

What You Would Do with a Quantum Computer if You Had One
Edward Farhi
Wed Jan 30, 01:30-02:30pm, 6-120

Plasma Science and Fusion Center IAP Series
Richard Temkin, Abhay Ram, Jay Kesner, Bob Childs
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: none

This Open House series is designed to introduce the MIT community to plasma physics research at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and areas of related interest. Refreshments will be available before each talk.
Contact: Paul Rivenberg, NW16-284, x3-8101,
Sponsor: Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Numerical Simulations: A Bridge Between Astrophysics and the Laboratory
Robert Rosner University of Chicago
The speaker will discuss the role that numerical simulations play in bridging the gap between astrophysical processes we would like to understand but don't and laboratory experiments in which such processes can be explored albeit under conditions that are far from astrophysical.
Mon Jan 14, 10am-11:00pm, NW17-218

Phantom in the Vacuum: Laboratory Experiments on Space Plasmas
Walter Gekelman Plasma Physics Laboratory, UCLA
Satellites and rocket probes have helped us understand that our solar system is filled with plasma. In the past two decades we have learned that this plasma is host to violent shock waves, magnetic and electric storms, complex current systems and magnetic topologies, and a large variety of waves. While many insights into what happens "up there" come from spacecraft data, it is now possible to explore some of these phenomena in carefully designed laboratory experiments. We will discuss how these experiments are conceived and performed, and compare data derived from laboratory experiments to that received from spacecraft. Some of the results will be illustrated in computer generated movies
Mon Jan 14, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

Real World Problems - Applications of Plasmas to the Electronics Industry
Richard Post NEXX Systems
Applying plasmas to industrial processing in the electronics industry uncovers a host of real world problems, ranging from materials interactions to business financing. The speaker will elaborate on these issues for students, engineers and scientists who might like to enter this exciting field.
Mon Jan 14, 02-03:00pm, NW17-218

The Physics and Engineering of the Alcator C-Mod Tokamak
James Irby
Alcator C-Mod is one of three national facilities dedicated to understanding the complex physics arising in devices exploiting the tokamak concept for a fusion reactor. The design and construction of Alcator C-Mod, its power, control, and diagnostic systems, and the remarkable physics being learned about these intense plasmas will be discussed.
Tue Jan 15, 10-11:00am, NW17-218

Tours of PSFC Experiments
Compare three experimental plasma devices: Alcator C-Mod, a high-field tokamak involved in fusion research; the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF), a tokamak built by MIT students and currently used to study magnetic reconnection and ionospheric plasma; and the Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX), MIT's newest fusion experiment.
Tue Jan 15, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

Francesca Bombarda
Ignitor is the first experiment designed to reach ignition on the basis of existing technologies and knowledge of plasma physics. This talk will present an overview of the machine design, the heating methods and control strategies for reaching ignition, and some alternative operation schemes.
Wed Jan 16, 11am-12:00pm, NW17-218

The Politically Correct Nuclear Energy Plant
Andrew Kadak
This talk will summarize's MIT's effort to contribute to solving the global warming problem in a safe, competitive, and clean way using an advanced nuclear plant that is being developed by students and faculty in the Nuclear Engineering Department. It is hoped that this plant can be built in the next 5 years as a reseach/demonstration project for continued technology development in a consortium effort with universities, industry, and national laboratories.
Wed Jan 16, 02-03:00pm, NW17-218

Ultra-High Vacuum Workshop
Johan E. deRijke, Varian Company
This seminar will cover a wide range of vacuum related topics from vacuum system operation, gauges and troubleshooting to determining total gas loads, system pressure and materials selection. There will be a lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00PM. To register contact Paul Rivenberg,, 617-253-8101.
Thu Jan 17, 10am-03:00pm, NW17-218

Role and Reference Grammar
Ted Gibson
Wed Jan 9, Thu Jan 10, Fri Jan 11, 10am-12:00pm, E25-117

Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: Graduate and advanced undergraduate enrollment only.

This course will present the basics of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG), a grammatical theory developed by Robert Van Valin and others which draws heavily on the analysis of non-Indo-European languages and which is concerned with the interaction of syntax, semantics and pragmatics in grammatical systems. RRG is a monostratal theory which posits a single syntactic representation for a sentence, which is linked directly to a semantic representation by means of a linking algorithm. RRG takes language to be a system of communicative social action. From this perspective, analyzing the communicative functions of grammatical structures plays a vital role in grammatical description and theory.
Contact: Ted Gibson, NE20-459, x3-8609,
Sponsor: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Spectroscopy Laboratory Annual Meeting
Michael S. Feld
Wed Jan 16, 10am-02:00pm, 4-153

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The Spectroscopy Laboratory is a pioneer in cuting-edge research in the fields of physics, chemistry and biomedical engineering. The Annual Meeting is an opportunity to hear about exciting research conducted in the Laboratory through a series of lectures (10:00 - 12:00 in 4-153) and during a poster session (12:30 - 2:30 in 6-321)
Contact: Michael S. Feld, 6-014, x3-9774,
Sponsor: Spectroscopy Lab

The Feynman Films
Markos Hankin
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: None

This series of films by Richard Feynman is open to the MIT community.
Contact: Markos Hankin, 4-309, 253-4844,
Sponsor: Physics

"The Law of Gravitation"
Markos Hankin
Mon Jan 7, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"The Best Mind Since Einstein"
Markos Hankin
Wed Jan 9, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"The Relation of Mathematics to Physics"
Markos Hankin
Thu Jan 10, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"The Great Conservation Principles"
Markos Hankin
Mon Jan 14, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"Symmetry in Physical Law"
Markos Hankin
Wed Jan 16, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"The Last Journey of a Genius"
Markos Hankin
Thu Jan 17, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"Take the World from Another Point of View"
Markos Hankin
Wed Jan 23, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"The Distinction of Past and Future"
Markos Hankin
Fri Jan 25, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"Probability and Uncertainty"
Markos Hankin
Mon Jan 28, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

"Seeking New Laws"
Markos Hankin
Wed Jan 30, 12:15-01:15pm, 6-120

The Non-Euclidean World: History, Geometry and Analysis
S. Helgason
Tue Jan 22, 04-05:00pm, 2-131

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

In this lecture we give a short account of the history of Non-Euclidean Geometry. This resulted in Hyperbolic Geometry which now enters significantly in Differential Geometry, Lie Groups, Integral Geometry, Analysis and Number Theory. In this lecture we indicate some of these developments.
Contact: S. Helgason, 2-182, x3-3668,
Sponsor: Mathematics

The Non-Euclidean World: Tessellations and Modular Forms
J. Lewis
Thu Jan 24, 04-05:00pm, 2-131

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

"The theory of elliptic functions is the fairyland of mathematics" (R.Bellman). Modular forms (a part thereof), with their many beautiful formulas and applications, are functions on the Hyperbolic Plane periodic on a non-Euclidean lattice (picture: Escher's "Circle Limit"). A general introduction to this subject will be given.
Contact: J. Lewis, 2-163, x3-2699,
Sponsor: Mathematics

Time Cube Lecture / Debate
Rhett Creighton
Wed Jan 30, 03-05:00pm, 10-250

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Guest speaker Gene Ray will talk about his world famous harmonic "Time Cube." A question-and-answer session will follow the talk, along with a panel debate composed of Gene Ray, Harvard, and MIT representatives. Event open to members of the MIT community only.
Contact: Rhett Creighton, (617) 262-5090,
Sponsor: Rhett Creighton,

What's Up with the Weather?
Marcus Sarofim
Tue Jan 15, 06-09:00pm, E51-335

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

For those curious about the science and politics of climate change, a presentation of the 2-hour NOVA/Frontline video "What's up with the Weather?," featuring MIT research, followed by a discussion led by climate change graduate students. Refreshments will be served.
Contact: Therese Henderson, E40-271, x3-7492,
Sponsor: Joint Program/Science and Policy of Global Change

Copyright© 1998-2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology   Comments and questions to   IAP Office, Room 7-104, 617.253.1668   Listing generated:  05-Feb-2002  
Subjects Activities by
   Category Activities by
   Sponsor Search the Guide MIT home